With students manning 17 stations, Upper School Service Council reps packed 50 backpacks for H.E.L.P.I.N.G the Homeless in a matter of minutes this morning. Under the direction of Alexa Rhodes, Class of 2022, each table in the science room was stocked with a useful and carefully selected item, including a poncho, stadium blanket, water bottle, socks, winter hat, and gloves. The backpacks are now destined for St. Francis Inn serving those in need in the Kensington community.
Earlier this school year, Service Council received a $1,000 grant from the Philly Service Award organization to purchase supplies for the backpacks. Representatives from the organization came to school today to distribute “Philly Service Award” baseball caps in recognition of SCH's initiative.
Rhodes launched H.E.L.P.I.N.G. The Homeless in the CEL while a sophomore at SCH and has gone on to donate over 1,365 backpacks to multiple homeless shelters across the Philadelphia area and beyond. She’s also taken her enterprising spirit to North Carolina where she is a student at UNC and packed bags with a service sorority there. Still home on her winter break from college, she jumped at the chance to meet with students and load more bags. She shared, “It’s really rewarding to come back to the place where it all began and to see the next generation taking an interest in supporting my project.”
SCH families will have a chance to add to these numbers when we come together as a community on Martin Luther King Jr. Morning of Service. (For more information, visit our MLK Jr. Morning of Service website.)
About Philly Service Award:
The Philly Service Award is the pioneering city-wide high school competition focused on championing community service projects led by Philadelphia's promising students, awarding over $100,000 in prizes to the winning schools. "We believe in the power of our youth and the transformative change they can bring to their neighborhoods. By focusing on high schools and students, we tap into the passion, creativity, and innovation that young minds bring, ensuring a brighter future for Philadelphia."
About H.E.L.P.I.N.G The Homeless, Inc.:
Since its founding in 2020, Rhodes has donated 1,365 backpacks to multiple homeless shelters across the Philadelphia area. “As my non-profit has grown, so has the worldwide support. I have leveraged my success to secure corporate partners and sponsors such as Bombas, T.D. Bank, and The New England Patriots. Being recognized by my state's politicians and featured in various publications has also facilitated the expansion of this endeavor. In addition, I received prize money for winning the first annual, Global Youth Entrepreneurship Competition, in 2020.”
Main Image: Alexa Rhodes is wearing the Carolina sweatshirt in the image here; she is joined by members of the Upper School Service Council.